Shawn Porter won a clear if unexciting decision over Adrien Broner; Andre Ward returned to boxing with a ninth round stoppage.
SAN DIEGO, June 20, 2015 – Shawn Porter turned Adrien Broner into a punch line inside the ring Saturday with a dominating unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
As Broner’s mentor Floyd Mayweather looked on, Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) kept doing what he could to dismantle Broner’s (30-2, 22 KOs) clenching and holding, It was Porter who dictated the pace of the fight, and Porter who threw and landed far more punches. Porter finally got a little help from referee Tony Weeks, who took a point away from Broner after repeated warnings in the 11th round.
In the sixth round and again in the 12th, Broner came to life out of nowhere, using good speed and attack, but he would inexplicably settle back down and tie up Porter without trying to capitalize on the attack. It mirrors his hit and miss work ethic and erratic behavior outside the ring, so who can be surprised?
“The Problem” has a real problem on his hands. Broner needs to concentrate more on firing off decent shots inside the ring than firing off his mouth outside the ring. He needs to find some discipline and work harder. His antics have cost his a lot of fan support. Post fight comments dismissing the outcome don’t help. “I’m OK. My kids OK. I’m financially fine. It’s OK,” Broner said after the fight on the broadcast. “At the end of the day, everybody in here will take my autograph and take a picture with me.”
Later on Twitter, Broner posted a post-fight photo in his party outfit, bragging he was going out clubbing. Apparently the loss didn’t weigh on him too much. Most of the 2,000 comments weren’t complimentary.
At lightweight, Broner had enough punching power to end fights early without having to demonstrate a lot of tactics or stamina. At higher weights, Broner cannot generate enough power to fully engage during a fight against a strong opponent, as he learned first against Marcos Maidana and again facing Porter. His career is in tatters at this point. He needs to do some soul searching, and I’m not talking about designer shoes. Perhaps it’s time for Broner to concentrate on his rapping career.
On the undercard, Errol Spence (17-0) remained undefeated with a third round stoppage against Phil LoGreco (26-2-0, 14 KOs) in a welterweight bout. This fight shouldn’t have even taken place. LoGreco was a last minute replacement. He hadn’t fought in nearly two years and was working as a sparring partner for Timothy Bradley. Getting knocked down by Spence was not useful or necessary for either boxer.
Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KOs) added the first win to his undefeated record in 19 months during his return to the ring after a lengthy contract dispute. Ward won a ninth round stoppage against Paul Smith of England (35-6, 20 KOs).
Ward showed little ring rust, showing speed, accuracy and controlling the pace from the opening bell. It was a laughable mismatch, made worse by Smith’s utter failure to make the agreed upon catchweight limit by more than four pounds, and packing on nine more pounds making him a cruiserweight at the time of the fight. Smith had to forfeit $5,000 for every pound he added after the weigh-in, plus the purse penalty for missing the weigh-in limit, costing him $60,000 out of his purse.
Smith offered little offense, simply trying to last against Ward. Smith was cut late in the seventh round after landing the few solid punches of the fight, and the cuts began to open in the eighth round. Another cut opened up in the ninth round, and Smith’s trainer Joe Gallagher wisely threw in the towel from the corner to end the fight.
“I know there’s another level I can be at where I’m not thinking about anything,” Ward said. “There’s another level of sharpness and being crisp that I have. … I felt like I did good tonight but I know I have better.”
Now that we know Ward’s skills has emerged from his hibernation intact, he needs to get right back in the ring and he needs to find an opponent worthy of him. Otherwise fans will grown impatient and lose interest in Ward. They won’t give him a pass a second time.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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